Afternoon News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on April 6, 2022
22-year-old Tarrance Williams of Batavia has been indicted by the Genesee County grand jury; he is charged with third-and-fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. Williams is accused of possessing cocaine.
Staff at Attica Correctional Facility had to initiate the hazardous materials protocol when an unknown substance was found on a letter in the mailroom. The incident was reported to officials yesterday morning; the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision was alerted, as were the state police, Attica firemen and Wyoming County’s hazardous materials response team. Fortunately, nothing came from the investigation; staff, incarcerated individuals and the community at large were not at risk.
Anastasiia Sobol is a student from Ukraine currently attending college in Canada, studying Business Marketing. She previously lived with Jim & Lorrie Gammack of Darien Center as an exchange student while attending Batavia High School during her senior year. With the war going on in her homeland, her family is unable to pay for school for her. The Gammacks have been raising money for Ana through a GoFundMe site. They have also been talking with the U.S. State Department and are in touch with representatives in Washington to try and get a visa for Sobol to return to the U.S. to live with the Gammacks during the summer. Meanwhile, she’ll be staying with friends in St. Catharines, Ontario. According to information available on travel.state.gov, the State Department says that generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wants to enter the United States first needs to get a visa. However, the application process and wait time for an interview depends on many factors but could take 300 days or more.To help the Gammacks assist Ana, search ‘Help Ana the Exchange Student’ on the GoFundMe site. So far, they’ve raised a little over $8800 of their $10,000 goal.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has revealed why a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills isn’t going to be built in Buffalo. In an interview with The Buffalo News, Poloncarz said there are several reasons why the facility can’t be constructed in the city including cost and potential legal battles associated with displacing residents. Last week, it was announced the NFL franchise will build its new stadium in Orchard Park which is where the team currently plays its home games. Poloncarz says the stadium deal won’t raise property taxes for Erie County residents.
The Buffalo Sabres have defeated the Carolina Hurricanes for the first time since 2016. Jeff Skinner, Dylan Cozens, Casey Mittelstadt, and Victor Olofsson each scored for the Sabres as they beat the Hurricanes 4-2 at KeyBank Center last night. Sabres goaltender Craig Anderson contributed to the win by stopping 32 of the 34 shots he faced in the contest. Up next for the Sabres is a road game against the Hurricanes tomorrow.
Alton Brown, the famous chef and television personality, criticized Buffalo’s main culinary attraction, Buffalo Wings, on an episode of Hot Ones. That was back in 2018 when he said “if you want great Buffalo chicken wings, you don’t go to Buffalo.” He visited the city again earlier this week, and this time Buffalo natives sent him to where they thought the best wings were and he has recanted. Brown now says, “I have had the best buffalo wing of my life and yes, it was in Buffalo.” This time around, he reportedly went to Bar Bill in East Aurora and La Nova on the West Side for the wings.
Orleans County now has its first confirmed case of the avian flu. It was detected in a backyard flock; that’s the word from the Cornell Cooperative Extension there. No other details are available at this time, including what type of bird, or how many tested positive in that location. The state Department of Agriculture and Markets announced last month that the spread of so-called ‘bird flu’ among fowl suggested the need to ban all live shows and exhibitions in the state that featured chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese. The state will reassess the status of the ban next month, at which time the Extension will be able to determine if fowl will be included the annual 4-H Fair in late July. Meanwhile, poultry owners should keep their birds away from wild ducks and geese and their droppings. Outdoor access for poultry should be limited at this time. The current outbreak of avian flu is rapidly expanding nationwide; however, the current findings do not present an immediate public health concern.
A Pavilion man is indicted on charges that he seriously injured a state trooper and attacked other police officers as they investigated a domestic dispute. 52-year-old Daniel Knauss faces 7 counts; the most serious charge is assault on a police officer, which is a class C violent felony punishable by up to 15 years in state prison.
Organizers of the Erie County Fair have announced three more musical acts who are going to be performing this year. Trace Adkins, Terri Clark, and Lonestar will take the stage on August 14th. Tickets for the concert go on sale June 10th at 9:00 a.m. with tickets ranging from $35 to $55 each. This year’s fair will run from August 10th through the 21st.
Some new data shows the spread of COVID-19 is on the rise again in Monroe County. There were 594 new infections reported yesterday which is nearly double the number that were announced on Monday. Health Commissioner Doctor Michael Mendoza says most of these cases are mild and there hasn’t been a large increase in hospitalizations. He says people should take precautions to avoid contracting the virus, such as receiving a COVID-19 vaccination or booster shot.
Negotiations continue today at the State Capitol as lawmakers work towards passing a new state budget. As has been the case for days, the main issues that still need to be addressed include funding for the new Buffalo Bills stadium, possible changes to the state’s bail reform laws and the temporary suspension of a state tax on gas. Earlier this week, the Legislature approved a budget extender that will keep the government running through Thursday. There’s still no word on when a final vote on the budget will happen; they’re hopeful by sometime over the weekend.
U.S. officials say the White House plans to extend the pandemic pause on student loan repayments through Aug. 31. An official announcement could come as early as sometime today. The pause on student loan payments was first put into place in March 2020. It’s been extended five times.